Are you a workaholic? Do you find yourself working every hour of the day and night, despite knowing it’s not good for you? If so, I bet you love what you do. But maybe you’re ALSO overworking. Watch this month’s video if you think this might be true for you.
Why do you work so hard? Perhaps you’re passionate about your job! You just love it. It doesn’t feel like work … but to keep it that way, you might need to slow down. Here’s why. Nobody – not even you – can stay focused and productive 24/7.
In fact, working excessive hours – even if you are passionate about what you do – is the fastest way to erode your productivity and your mental stamina. You. Need. To. Stop. Now.
Yes, I understand. Quitting the overwork habit can be hard. But it can also be easy – when you know how. Here are four simple steps to get you started. Right this moment.
Step 1: Stop telling yourself you’ll ‘relax later’
Humans have a natural tendency to procrastinate, says Ofer Leidner, author of Stop Working and Start Thriving: ‘We work hard today so we can relax tomorrow’, he says. ‘But tomorrow always becomes today and there is never enough time’. Stop putting off downtime by scheduling your time off. Put it in your calendar and DO NOT WRITE OVER IT.
Step 2: Start working less
High achievers often feel guilty for taking time off. That doesn’t mean you really SHOULD feel guilty. Stop working weekends and evenings. Step away from your email. Leave your work phone switched off during evenings and days off. Even more importantly, leave your work brain switched off during breaks.
Step 3: Continue building your assertiveness
Assertiveness is about knowing your limits and communicating them constructively. Assertive professionals know how to say ‘no’ without guilt. Choose to set boundaries and manage your own time. Master the art of saying ‘no’ without being rude. Most importantly, stop giving in to the demands of difficult people. No. You don’t owe them a favour. No. Being nice is NOT the key to success. In fact, it’s the key to stress.
Step 4: Quit multi-tasking
Multi-tasking is NOT efficient. In fact, neuroscientists have shown it isn’t even possible! Your brain just can’t process doing several things at once. It is physically impossible. So, stop trying to do it. Learn to focus. Work on one project, task or issue at a time. And take pride in doing it.
Sure, I know you have too much to do. But as I explain in this week’s blog post, you can ‘tame’ your inbox – as well as your guilt.